Neil Patrick Harris Changed Emmys In Memoriam Segment to Make It “Not a Competition”

Neil Patrick Harris on January 27, 2013
Neil Patrick Harris says he's made some changes to the 2013 Emmys' In Memoriam segment to make it "not a competition."  Kevork Djansezian/Getty

As a second-time host, Neil Patrick Harris is making some changes to the 2013 Primetime Emmys on Sunday, Sept. 22. In particular, the 40-year-old How I Met Your Mother star says the show's In Memoriam segment will now be more personal and less awkward.

"I always find the In Memoriam is just really interesting because sometimes it seems weird that they keep the audio on in the house, so some people get applause and some people don't, and it turns it into this weird moment," Harris told Access Hollywood. "And you want that moment to be honoring those people, and not a competition."

How will he stop that from happening?

"We've come up with this idea — five different people that we chose sort of from different areas of television are being spoken about by people who were important to them," he explained. "[They'll speak about them] not in a pitying way, but I think in a respectful, classy way that will make you remember their life in a positive, forward-momentum kind of style."

In a statement on Monday, Sept. 16, the show announced the five late stars who will be featured with special recognition: actor James Gandolfini (remembered by Sopranos costar Edie Falco), producer Gary David Goldberg (remembered by Family Ties star Michael J. Fox), actor Cory Monteith (remembered by Glee costar Jane Lynch), actress Jean Stapleton (remembered by All in the Family costar Rob Reiner), and actor Jonathan Winters (remembered by Mork and Mindy costar Robin Williams.)

"The In Memoriam is a very emotional and evocative segment for the Emmys, or any annual awards program," Executive Producer Ken Ehrlich said in the statement. "These five individuals brought us such great entertainment and joy, so having their close friends share personal remembrances is something that will be very meaningful for television audiences across the country and across the generations. And, our traditional In Memoriam segment will be presented in a unique new format that will give added importance to an already much anticipated segment of the Emmy show."

Tell Us: Do you like the changes made to the Emmys' In Memoriam?

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